I ended this year with a great night with some of the legends of martial arts, men I truly like and respect. I’ve spent over four decades with this practice and the last three years traveling with the martial arts fights and fifteen years with the boxing crews. I’ve met a lot of great trainers and fighters and learned quite a bit in the process. I’ve met brutes and great gentlemen and everything in between. On a few occasions I’ve been stunned by the knowledge some individuals have had not only of the universe of martial arts but the more profound and subtle aspects of Eastern Philosophy. Their interests have been wide and varied and they cannot be pigeon holed. I am thrilled and honored to know them and to be friends with them and hope to continue to learn and associate with them.
I am happy and honored for those around me who have stuck it out in this art. I am happy for their critical minds and inquisitive nature and taking nothing for granted. I appreciate those who can challenge what they are taught and either support or discard it as useful. I consider the folks around me as friends and equals and hold no rank or title over them. We can all learn and practice together as we always have. I am thankful to know you and appreciate your kindness and support. Happy New Year to all!
OBTW- note from the alternate martial universe
If I were to write about my encounters the way many other mantis people write today on their sites it would go like this:
Spent another great night with Bas and Renzo! They were so impressed with my abilities they both asked to privately teach them the hands and dim mak. They couldn’t believe what I can do and said they’ve never seen anything like it. I am too humble to brag about it though and declined their requests.
Now for reality: I would never say such a thing or brag for several reasons. First, it’s a damn lie and secondly I have nothing but respect and admiration for these truly kind, generous and humble fellows who could wrap me up and discard me like a chewing gum wrapper. Also I can't out run them when I see them again! I’ve never heard them brag in any manner and they are kind and welcoming to anyone who approaches them. Secondly lying on the web will eventually catch up with you in one form or another whether it’s braggadocio, out right lying or plagiarism. Unfortunately the web is full of guys who make extraordinary and impossible claims, mastering ten arts while fending off an army with their dim mak, a tooth pick and other such Bullshido. It’s obvious to anyone with a clear mind which is truth and which are lies on the web so don’t think you’re fooling anyone but yourself.
Ideas, articles, lessons, and retrospective moments.